“I truly believe Plano is a City of Excellence and I’m committed to keeping it that way.”
Happy Plano Residents and Businesses
Plano residents, both homeowners and home renters, are among the most satisfied in North Texas. Our people love our libraries and parks and recreation centers. They feel safer here than just about anywhere else in Texas. They cite our city’s diversity of cultures as one of its best features on satisfaction surveys.
Since peaking 2003, Plano’s crime rate has dropped to its lowest in many years. I support our police and firefighters and the excellent job they have done keeping our city safe.
That said, we must continue to invest in our police and fire departments to keep their equipment up to date and hold on to the top management and the experienced personnel who keep our city one of the safest in America. My opponent has stripped away such investment potential.
If elected I will ensure that the Turning Point Rape Crisis Center is fully funded by the city and that women’s health is protected.
In 2015, Plano passed an expansive Equal Rights Ordinance (ERO) that protects the rights of all LGBTQIA+ citizens. I will protect that ERO and strengthen it where necessary.
COVID-19 and Plano
A healthy city is a prosperous city. The health and welfare of all Plano residents will be my number one goal. Plano has not been immune from the impact of COVID-19. Our hospitals have been filling up and our healthcare staff is stressed to the highest levels.
My opponent voted against mandatory masks in indoor public places. Masks have proven the most effective method of slowing the pandemic and getting us all back to work and school. Plano must continue to work with our county to provide a safe environment and expedite vaccine distribution.
Housing & Land Use
Let’s get real with our real estate – Plano needs to deal with the demand for homes in Plano and help reduce our traffic nightmare. With space for single-family homes severely limited, we must turn to so called “middle housing” such as townhomes, condominiums, and senior oriented homes for those interested in downsizing. I’ve fought against incompatible rezoning and for quality development in and around my own neighborhood – with more success than most others — and I’m prepared to fight for all of Plano.
New apartments are best limited to those integrated into mixed-use developments, like Legacy West, or reimagined neighborhood centers with local shops, professionals and services integrated with multi-family housing in a walkable landscaped environment. These mixed-use projects must be developed with input from the surrounding single-family neighborhoods and situated comfortably away from them.
“As your city council representative, I will work for you. I will make sure that every penny you pay in taxes is spent carefully and wisely.” Steve Lavine
We can keep our tax rates the lowest among major North Texas cities without sacrificing timely maintenance projects. Shortchanging Plano now will cost homeowners later and hamper the city’s ability to keep up with renewal.
I’m in favor of responsible tax policy that maintains our current and future city services, public safety requirements and provides for the necessary repairs to our aging roads and infrastructure – without resorting to high-interest short terms loans or kicking the can down the road resulting in much higher costs for road and building replacement.
I pledge to support protecting our libraries and recreation centers from privatization or severe cutbacks and keeping our public safety services staffed, equipped and ready to protect Plano citizens.
Retaining our Corporate Citizens
Maintaining our enviable tax base of about 50% residential and 50% corporate taxpayers requires we invest in both our neighborhoods and our business centers. This balance of homeowners and employers is what keeps Plano’s tax rates the lowest among large North Texas cities and depends on retaining our corporate citizens and maintaining residential property values.
Traffic is one of the biggest complaints of Plano residents. I won’t tell you that there are easy solutions to our traffic issues. But I understand the issue thoroughly and will promote smart, effective measures to alleviate it.
The most important thing to understand: the solution to our traffic problems is very closely related to our housing and development issues. Traffic-stop surveys have shown that much of our highway traffic is going through or to Plano – not moving just within our city. The simple fact is Plano has many jobs that people outside of our city want. Why don’t these workers settle in closer to their jobs? The answer is a lack of desirable and affordable housing here in Plano.
We can keep our low tax rates while smartly managing maintenance of our city’s aging roads, buildings and amenities. While major road and building funding is derived from bond issues voted on by the taxpayers, urgent and un-budgeted repairs totaling many millions occur every year. Short-term tax freezes that cause our city to re-prioritize urgently needed repairs and maintenance for our roads and service buildings (Libraries and Park/Rec centers) can result in reasonable repair costs giving way to costly replacements.
STEVE LAVINE for Plano
City Council, Place 2